It Was a Very Busy Day

by Ginger on May 1, 2013

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

My kid, like many, is a creature of habit. We have routines, and specified orders of doing things, and certain routes we take, and heaven help us all if you deviate from those set patterns. In lots of things, he’s great at going with the flow, in many others though, he is as rigid as a ruler about how things happen.

One of those areas where we follow the pattern or suffer the consequences is with bedtime. The routine changes over times, sometimes in little ways and sometime in big ones, but when we are in the middle of a set pattern, it’s pretty much SET.

Right now, the pattern is pretty simple: jams, brush teeth, zapow, books, busy day, kisses. The first two are pretty self explanatory, though they can consist of the biggest power struggles of the night. (No, dude, I’m sorry, I have to at least have one swipe of your teeth.).

After that comes ZAPOW!–a game where Jackson runs from the hallway into the bedroom and flings himself into a pillow N.C. is holding and then they wrestle/tickle while saying ZAPOW over and over. (I dunno, I think it’s a boy thing.) My favorite part of the zapow game is watching them negotiate over how many zapows they’ll do. “Daddy, tonight we’ll do SIX zapows!” “How about three?” “Well, Daddy, how about 4?” “Ok, we’ll do 4.” Then they count down how many they’ve done and how many are left until there are ZERO zapows. Jackson is in a big counting phase right now, and we end up counting everything, and why would bedtime be any different?

Next up is books. We rotate who picks a book (we say it’s to learn sharing, but it’s really because N.C. & I got sick of reading the same Curious George book over and over and over and over). I pick one night, then Jackson, then N.C., then Jackson, then me…well, you get the picture. You can always tell when it’s been a long day of parenting because if N.C. or I get to pick, we choose the shortest books J has. Jackson basically picks one of two Curious George books every chance he gets. Again, that creature of habit thing.

Then comes my favorite part of bedtime: Busy Day. We turn off the lights, turn on the turtle stars and nightlights, Jackson gets in bed under the covers, and N.C. & I lay around him.

“What busy day do you want to do buddy?”

He usually picks the most exciting thing about his day (“the legoland busy day” “the park busy day” “the restaurant busy day”) but sometimes he picks a reiteration of the book we just read (“the george at the candy factory busy day”) or something simple (“the breakfast, blocks, snack busy day”). And then we tell the story of that busy day. Here was tonight’s:

“Well, daddy went and picked Jackson up from school. And you both came back to pick mommy up…”

“Mommy was doing her workup”

“Yes, I had finished doing my workout. And then we all got ready to go to the restaurant.”

“And when we got to the restaurant, we ordered pockcorn! And I got a cranberry juice!”

“That’s right, you got cranberry juice and we ordered popcorn. And you ordered chicken…”

“No Mommy, chicken STRIPS.”

“Right, sorry. Chicken STRIPS. And french fries. And while you waited for dinner, you played your Curious George game, and ate popcorn.”

“And then my dinner came, and I ate all my chicken so I got…dessert!

“That’s right, we got dessert. And then when we were done eating, we came home, and you fed Sasha, and we did zapow, and books, and…”

(and this part is said all together)

“It was a VERY BUSY restaurant popcorn chicken dessert DAY. A Very Busy Day.”

I don’t know why I love that little moment so much. He’s not telling us about his day most nights–we’re telling a story about our day together, or telling a story based on the book we just read. But something about the storytelling together…I dunno, I love it. I love cuddling in the dark, telling stories, and spending the last few moments of the kid’s day together.

I don’t know how much longer Busy Day will stick around–it seems like as soon as I write about a nighttime ritual we have, it changes, as is the way of the internet–but it’s such a fun little part of the day. I always want to remember this time, when every day, together, we had a Very. Busy. Day.

Cloud May 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Awwww. So sweet. The bit about the chicken STRIPS reminds me of Petunia, who orders “chicken an’ fries AN’ KESSUP!” anytime we go out. Or she says that is what she wants to order until we point out the menu has mac-n-cheese….

Ginger May 2, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I love how literal and specific kids can be. It cracks me up every time!

Michelle May 2, 2013 at 11:03 am

That’s lovely.

kathy mahler May 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

So sweet. Brought back so many wonderful memories of my two little boys (who are now 29 and 27, married but not parents yet).
I did love the bedtime routines. And they evolved often. But even in their teens … sitting at the foot of my middle school aged son … “tell me” … and just listening. (It was hard not to interrupt or interject or offer advice – the listening without judgement was the gift. To me for sure. But I think for him as well).
Thank you for the gift of this particular blog.
Just goes to show you – ya never know whose life you will touch.

Ginger May 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Oh thank you! I do so hope that we get to have those kinds of gifts that you had as well as the little man grows up. I hope that the time we spend together now paves the road for him to want to talk to me the way your sons did.

clara May 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Such a fabulous ritual. I feel calmer and more ready to sleep just reading about you talking about it. What a sweetheart your boy is.

nonsequiturchica May 3, 2013 at 7:50 am

What an adorable nighttime ritual!

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